North Carolina

North Carolina Becomes First Southern State to Ban State Funding for Conversion Therapy

Conversion therapy has never been scientifically proven to be effective. In fact, the opposite has happened. Conversion therapy can be mentally, emotionally and even physically damaging. North Carolina is the first southern state to try and bring that area of the country out of the dark ages by banning the use of state funds for conversion therapy for minors.

Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper signed the executive order, which noted that North Carolina is home to approximately 320,000 adults who identify as LGBTQ, NBC News reported.

The order also said that suicide rates and ideation are high among the nearly 700,000 people nationwide who have undergone conversion therapy, a widely condemned practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity using a variety of sometimes torturous methods, including electric shock.

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“The American Medical Association has concluded that ‘it is clinically and ethically inappropriate for health care providers to direct mental or behavioral health interventions … with a prescriptive goal aimed at achieving a fixed developmental outcome of a child’s or adolescents sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” the order read.

Cooper took to Twitter to express his support of the order:

“Conversion therapy has been shown to pose serious health risks, and we should be protecting all of our children, including those who identify as LGBTQ, instead of subjecting them to a dangerous practice.”

North Carolina has had a long recovery process with its relationship with its LGBTQ population after a major corporate boycott due to a lot of anti-LGBTQ bills signed by Cooper’s Republican predecessor, Pat McCrory.

In a press release Friday, Equality North Carolina shared a February poll that showed the majority of North Carolinians support banning conversion therapy — with more Republicans in favor than Democrats.

“It’s rare that we find bipartisan support around an issue in North Carolina, but I think we can all agree that we want the safest and healthiest future for our children,” said Kendra R. Johnson, executive director of Equality North Carolina, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group.

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